6 of the Best Ways to Personalize Your Planner

A stack of colorful planners sit on a white background with a pen and two rolls of colorful washi tape.

Your planner should be a perfect match for your life. That includes your personal style.

The best ways to personalize your planner are ones that take into account your style, your needs, and what you use your planner for. 

From incorporating colors and textures, to upgrading your planning to include nicer pens and fun stickers, personalizing your planner can be a lot of fun. The process of turning an everyday, utilitarian product like your planner into something that is uniquely yours is an adventure we highly recommend taking! 

And with a paper planner, you have an entire year to personalize it in so many different ways, just the way you like. There is no right or wrong; the space is all yours to experiment and perfect.

Plus, personalizing your planner can even be a creative outlet. Use the suggestions below for the best ways to personalize your planner and have fun with easy strategies to unleash your creativity. You’ll satisfy your need to be creative while working on filling out your planner, and maximizing its productivity and organizational benefits. 

Because that’s the whole point of a planner right - to make it work for you and your life.

1. Add a touch of color

Color is one of the easiest ways to make your planner more personal. Color-coding can help you quickly and visually organize your tasks and deadlines, so it’s easy to get the information you need at-a-glance.

Put upcoming deadlines in red, and lower priority tasks in green or blue. Or you can organize specific types of tasks by colors, so that all your meetings are in pink and your personal commitments are in green. Whatever makes the most sense to your eye is what will work best for you!

You have a variety of options to choose from when you add color to your planner:

Use highlighter to mark important days or activities. If you prefer to write things down in traditional black or blue ink, highlighting is one of your best options for color-coding and making important information pop. The Pilot FriXion Erasable Highlighters - Assorted 5-Pack is a perfect way to personalize your planner (especially if your schedule changes or you’re error-prone) because you can highlight and erase! Though best suited to highlighting printed material versus some pen inks, this erasable highlighter is a nice option to have on hand. 

Use color to write it out. Ditch your black or blue pen and use pen inks in a rainbow of colors. Whether you prefer metallic colors with a fine pen tip like these Pilot G2 Metallic Pens (they come in metallic blue, green, purple, pink, gold, silver and black and white), or an amazing ballpoint pen like the Schneider Slider Edge XB Ballpoint Pen Assorted Color 8-Pack, your color options abound. You could even try a brush pen like the Fudebiyori Brush Pen Assorted Color 12-Pack if you want to give your planner notes a boost.

Use color to outline, fill in a box, or draw bold lines around dates, days, or activities. Not a color fanatic? Keep it minimal by using color as a subtle detail. Glitter is a fun and easy way to personalize your planner with a touch of sparkle, without going over the top. The Wink of Stella Glitter Pen has a slightly broader stroke so you can easily use this glitter pen for regular writing and for creating bold lines to box in a big idea or date. Or give colored washi tape a try (more on washi tape below!)

2. Use different writing styles and strokes

Nothing is more you than your own handwriting. Even if you don’t like your handwriting, a paper planner does allow you the space and ability to practice and try block fonts, cursive, wide or wild strokes, and maybe even some calligraphy? This is another subtle way to make different parts of your planner stand out, without needing to invest a ton of time or resources.

Brush pens are versatile and give you the ability and range of motion to try different strokes, so have fun with it! Check out the new Zebra Metallic Brush Pen or try the Kuretake Hikkei Sign Pen, which has a firmer, finer tip so you can easily create thick or thin lines. 

3. The amazing things you can do with washi tape

If you haven’t incorporated washi tape into your planner, it's a super easy way to personalize it without a lot of effort or planning on your part. A decorative tape that comes in fun solids and creative patterns, washi tape is super versatile and easily removable without damaging your planner pages.

Washi tape is a nice option to use when you want to highlight a day to do a certain task without actually writing down what that task is, though you can also write on it with pen or marker to make a note or headline stand out.

In love with florals when spring rolls around? There’s a washi tape for that. Or if you prefer solid colors, use them to outline a day of the week in your planner, bring focus to special dates, or motivate you on a busy day ahead.

4. Have fun with sticky notes

Adhesive pads are great when you need to flag certain weeks, specific pages of your planner that you need to quickly refer to, or to underscore something that is happening on a certain day. They are also a great way to add a little personality to your functionality.

Sticky notes like the Adhesive Gem Page Flags have a fun geometric shape and you can use the pointy end to point towards something specific on a page. 

Foil Stamped Adhesive Tabs give you the flexibility to write labels, so you can easily track big projects or dates on different planner pages, while still expressing your personality and style.

5. Stickers, stickers, stickers

Stickers are one of the easiest ways to organize your planner, help you find efficient and productive ways to identify recurring tasks or highlight special events. And they’re a fun way to spice up your planner if you like the idea of adding images/pictures but can’t (or don’t want to) draw/doodle them in. Stickers can also add a consistency to your planner if that’s your thing.

Ink+Volt Planner & Calendar Stickers are thoughtfully designed, bringing a colorful, yet modern and professional sticker option for any and all of your planner needs; the pack comes with 448 stickers ranging from holidays and events, to household/errand, personal and productivity themes. And give these Calendar Stickers - School Edition if you need a more school oriented sticker pack. 

6. Sketches and doodles

Nothing makes adding your own sketches, design, doodles, and drawings to your planner more personal. If you need inspiration, you can look up bullet journal page ideas -- there are so many inspiring creative and functional customizations for every goal or pursuit out there.

For example, if you love the outdoors and want to document your adventures or trips, take a blank page in your planner and along the top, sides, or background, draw a mountainscape or a forest to reflect the page’s theme. Then write out headers to track how far you hiked, location, and any observations. By the end of the year, you can look back on these pages to see all that you accomplished.

Or if you have a goal to read more this year, draw a bookcase with books on the shelves. Then, write in the title of the books you read on the book bindings as the year goes along, filling out your planner’s bookcase. 

For activities you record frequently (like cooking or exercising) you can draw a little symbol or image instead of writing out the words in your planner. It’s a visual cue and a creative outlet, all in one.

A visual can be so much more inspiring than words. But you don’t have to be an artist to personalize your planner. Give any one of these 6 ideas a try for some of the best ways to personalize your planner all year long.

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